As many firearm owners know, the search for a good fitting, practical and comfortable pistol holster can be a severe headache and will most likely result in the outlay of a large amount of mulah, wonga, dosh, reddies, greenbacks, dollars, whatever term you wish to use for money...and the accumulation of a number of ill-fitting, impractical and uncomfortable holsters stuck in a box somewhere collecting dust. In an attempt to hopefully shorten the process, to avoid an unwanted collection and to save as much money as possible, I reached out to TEGE Holsters to evaluate some of their products.
You can find this Tactical OWB Paddle Holster (Glock 19, 19X, 23, 32, 44, 45 (Gen 1-5) HERE through our Amazon affiliate link.
Their product line of injected polymer IWB (Inside Waist Band), OWB (Outside Waist Band) plus IWB leather holsters cater to a number of different makes and models of pistols. Their pricing is very competitive when compared to so much of the holster market out there.
The particular holster in this review is a level 2 retention holster. It's specification offers more security retention than a regular concealed outside the waist band paddle holster. For those not familiar with the levels of retention for holsters, here's a basic guide to the three levels of retention:
I have seen a lot of Kydex holsters over the last 10 years. A few of the top, well established brands are really good, but are also VERY expensive and may have a long order/build wait time. If you're not prepared to wait and/or pay high prices for your holster, then the available options may leave a bad taste in your mouth...rough edges, overheated, blemished Kydex, bad fitment to the pistol and an overall ugly looking piece of plastic. Any thoughts I had of yet another useless holster quickly disappeared when I opened the packaging. I was immediately impressed by the construction and finish of the holster and the paddle attachment. This level 2 retention TEGE holster is well made with smooth edges and good molding to grip the pistol where needed. The tactile, easy to actuate release lever was a nice touch. I have another brand of level 2 holster with a thumb release lever. It has a firmer release tension. Neither system is bad in any way. With the sample holster that I received, the lever requires less, almost minimal pressure to release the pistol. Some may feel that the minimal amount of pressure needed to release the pistol may make it too easy for someone else (an assailant) to remove the pistol from your holster during a struggle. I have not yet had the opportunity to test it in that particular situation.
For this test/review, my pistol choice was the Glock 45 MOS (Gen5 fitment). Drawing the pistol from the holster is easy. Place your hand on the pistol and grip it as you would normally, your thumb naturally sweeps against the lever in a downward motion as you place your hand around the grip, releasing the retention, and the pistol draws out from the holster smoothly without binding. Re-holstering is just as smooth with an audible but quiet click as the thumb lever retention cam system locks onto the front of the trigger guard. The cam does not come anywhere near the trigger so there are no worries about accidental discharges while reholstering. I have pulled and pulled the pistol against the locking cam trying to release the pistol from the holster without using the retention release lever. I have not yet managed to draw the pistol without using the lever. Good job, TEGE.
The paddle attachment is adjustable for cant (angle of forward or backward lean of the pistol when worn). Simply loosen the two screws on the inside of the paddle with the provided allen wrench, adjust to the forward or reverse angle desired and tighten the screws...simple.
My intended use for this holster will be for range days and future firearm courses. I plan to put it through it's paces in all environments and weather conditions. I'm interested to see how it matches up against my Safariland 7TS model level 2 holster. That's a big test in itself. Safariland holsters have a tremendous reliability reputation with law enforcement and military around the world. I don’t think TEGE are aiming this holster as a direct competitor against the Safariland level 2 holsters, it seems aimed more at the civilian shooter as opposed to law enforcement and military
In the future, I'll do an update blog to report back the findings. What do you think...can the level 2 retention TEGE Holster hold it's own and stand up to the torture of range days and courses? Will the TEGE retention mechanism device hold up to the abuse?...I can't wait to find out!